Mr. President, I congratulate you with ‘heavyheart’ for being sworn in as the next president of the republic of Zimbabwe for the next five years. I am sure that that you are aware that millions of Zimbabweans are ‘bleeding internally’ because of the way the 2018 elections were mismanaged by ZEC. You need to provide leadership by healing the souls of the Zimbabweans affected within your 30 days in office.
Mr. President you should know that opposition members are not feeling at home, they feel as if they are being taken as second class citizens. Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda opened a Pandora box when they alleged that the former president Mugabe is now a ‘sellout’ just because he supported the opposition. The implication Mr. President is that, if you are not in ZANU PF, you are an enemy of the State.
Mr. President they went on to suggest that the international airport in Harare, named after R.G Mugabe should be renamed because Mr. Mugabe has gone out of way by voting for Nelson Chamisa. Personally, I shaded tears upon listening to Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda on ZBC. I strongly believe that I am not alone, the opposition members are being segregated and are taken as second class citizens in their country. Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda soiled the image of Zimbabwe and ZANU PF.
In Zimbabwe, there are still places and roads named by Smith and Rhodes. If you remove the name of Mugabe, you will set a wrong precedent, the same people will tell you to rename Victoria Falls. Places and roads are not named after good people alone, that is why the name of Judas Iscariot is named after several places and buildings across the world. R.G Mugabe may be bad today because he voted for opposition but his contribution to Zimbabwe cannot be thrown under the bus.
Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda went further to claim that they will forcefully take Mugabe’s farms because of his marriage with opposition. I am not a supporter of Mr. Mugabe but because he is the current face of the opposition, there is a feeling that all opposition members are second class citizens in their own country. There is enough evidence to support that land reform program benefited largely ZANU PF members at the expense of opposition team and the statement of Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda on Mr. Mugabe can vindicate this.
When Simon Peter learned that he had betrayed Jesus Christ, he wept bitterly. I know you shared an emotional history with R.G. Mugabe, he may not survive for several months or years, nature may take him and I don’t want you to weep like Simon Peter. Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda sounded like R.G Mugabe may not join Sally Mugabe at the national shrine, I hate Mugabe but I want you to take care of him with baby gloves and not the way Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda are doing.
I agree with Oppah Muchinguri that Mugabe is the master of sanctions and poverty in Zimbabwe but because you both (with Mugabe) share an emotional history, Mugabe should be treated with care. Mr. President, I don’t know why Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda are wasting their energy on a 94 year old. At such age Mugabe has reached the point of diminishing returns, I don’t think Oppah and Matemadanda can do that to their 90 year old grandmothers/fathers. Fighting with R.G Mugabe at this age is like fighting ‘a person without both hands, all eyes and too sick’. Mr. President may you ask Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda to have some kind of deep meditation before throwing stones to a 94 year oldman. Shame on Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda.
Kwame Nkuruma was removed by a coup but he is inspiring Africa today, George Bush killed in Iraq but is still inspiring Americans today, Colonel Gaddaf was said to be a dictator in Libya but is now heavily missed by Libyans and Africa. Nelson Mandela was once declared a ‘terrorist’ but is now the icon of the entire continent. ZANU PF (including you) used to call Tsvangirai Chimbwasungata but you admitted upon his death that he was a hero of democracy in Zimbabwe. Be careful with R.G. Mugabe, share notes and hug before he migrates to the other side. I do not want you to weep like Simon Peter.
Mr. President, you should leave a good legacy before you migrate to the other side, we will all die but we have to leave a legacy for the future. Make sure ZEC is reformed, make sure all losers will accept defeat, we need free and fair elections in 2023, Zimbabweans should remember you for that. Make sure Judge Chigumba is relieved of her duties within your 100days in power, ‘kill’ those involved in corruption and Zimbabweans will give you a gun.
Mr. President, you should not consider Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda in your cabinet. Zimbabweans need ministers who are objective and can reach out to opposition members. Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda have demonstrated that they cannot lead objectively. This is time for you to send Parirenyatwa home, he has been leading a weak heath sector for a long time. Tendai Biti should be your good minister of finance, Zimbabweans need a real change.
Another issue you should address is the plight of the Diaspora team. Zimbabweans in Diaspora are no longer feeling to be Zimbabweans. You should make sure that they are allowed to vote, you cannot engage people who are not allowed to vote into your economic main stream. Your government should take advantage of Diaspora entrepreneurship, this can only be done if their right to vote is restored.
Mr. President, you definitely need to reach out to Nelson Chamisa and team, you may not enjoy leadership if they are left out of the box. You should work with them for the greater good of Zimbabwe, they will help you to extend your wings to the international community. “Uhuru and Raila Did It, Why Can’t You ‘Did’ It With Chamisa” This is an opportune time to work for your legacy, do the ‘abnormal’ by embracing the opposition, use them to shape your legacy.
Conclusion Your party ZANU PF have to embrace the opposition team, they should take opposition views positively. You should bring Oppah Muchinguri and Matemadanda to order. There are Zimbabweans who are more Zimbabweans than others. Segregation from fellow brothers and sisters is more dangerous than racism.
There are four key issues that will determine the success of your five year team, first, the treatment of opposition members as ‘full Zimbabweans’ and not enemies, second inclusion of Nelson Chamisa and team in your government , third, diasporas should feel to be ‘full Zimbabweans’ as well and finally, Oppah Muchinguri, Matemadanda and other non performing (ministers in previous government) should be shown the door. Do not consider liberation war credentials in appointment of your ministers. We need appointments based on merit. I am keenly waiting for your 100 days in power.
Don Chigumba is a mixed methods research specialist, can be found on twitter @Donchigumba
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